Geology and petroleum systems of the East China sea basin

Bing Wang, Harry Doust, Jingyan Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


The back-arc East China Sea Basin lies on extended continental crust at the leading edge of the Eurasian plate. In this study, the basins are described and subdivided according to their tectono-stratigraphic evolution. In order to distinguish between different phases of deformation in basin development, standard basin evolution patterns related to geodynamic drivers are identified as a first step. On the basis of this, standard patterns are recognized in the sedimentary sequences that characterize the area and its tectonic evolution, and linking them to the petroleum systems present is attempted. This is achieved by characterizing and grouping them into basin cycle-related petroleum system types (PSTs). Finally, the development of plays is examined within the petroleum systems in the context of their tectono-stratigraphic evolution, and groups of sub-basins with similar geological history and, therefore, potentially similar petroleum prospectivity are identified. In the East China Sea Basin, four proven and potential PSTs were recognized: (1) Late Cretaceous to Paleocene oil/gas-prone early syn-rift lacustrine-deltaic PST; (2) Eocene gas/oil prone late syn-rift marine PST; (3) Oligocene to Middle Miocene gas/oil-prone early post-rift fluvial-deltaic PST; (4) gas-prone syn-rift turbiditic PST. The geology and petroleum systems of three major sub-basins of the East China Sea Basin, the Xihu Sub-basin, the Lishui Sub-basin, and Okinawa Trough, are discussed in detail, and their petroleum systems and play development are analyzed. Finally, the sub-basins are grouped into "basin families" distinguished by their tectono-stratigraphic development, namely, Northwest to Northeast Shelf Basin (NWSB-NESB), Southwest to Southeast Shelf Basin (SWSB-SESB), and Okinawa Trough basin families, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4088
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2019


Funding: The publication of the paper was funded by the Key National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.91328201), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 40972081), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2-9-2013-095).

FundersFunder number
National Natural Science Foundation of China91328201, 40972081
Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities2-9-2013-095


    • Basin family
    • East China Sea Basin
    • Okinawa Trough
    • Petroleum systems
    • Play


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